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Letter: Hamilton not afraid to take a stand

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opinion Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

Recently, Richard Peterson wrote a letter to this newspaper bemoaning the fact that legislative leaders are touting a measly one percent funding increase for our schools.

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Good for him.

Peterson is right to call the DFL leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate on the carpet for failing to adequately address the funding woes of our rural schools. At the start of 2007, they had a $2 billion surplus to work with. The DFL then mismanaged these finances so badly that they spent their way into a $1 billion deficit in less than one year. Despite this $3 billion turnaround, they could only manage a one-time, one percent funding increase this year for our schools.

Peterson is right. The DFL's lame attempt at adequately funding our schools is woefully inadequate.

Peterson actually forgot to mention one other portion of the bill that is equally appalling. The education funding bill he referred to actually gave the Minneapolis School District up to 59 percent more funding that our schools would have received. Once again, the Minneapolis liberals that run the Legislature take care of their own first, while rural Minnesota is left to fight for the scraps.

Our state representative, Rod Hamilton, could have done the politically correct thing and voted for the proposal. He then could have added to Peterson's cynicism by bragging about how he helped solved the education funding crisis.

Instead, as with the much publicized transportation funding proposal, Rep. Hamilton took a stand against the nonsense because he's tired of rural Minnesota being left behind.

We are lucky to have a state representative like Rod Hamilton fighting hard for us. He has proven that he will put his constituents' needs before his party's interests. And when we send him back to St. Paul this November, I am confident he will continue his fight for education funding equity and overall increases that are not "woefully inadequate."

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